Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

May 16th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: Getty


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Good morning sports media watchers. I’ve been hanging on to a bunch of stories that have been clogging the bases, so this weekend’s post will mostly be a clearing of the deck to make space for all the exciting sports media news that is sure to come as we move into the summer. As always, I’m grateful to those of you who email or Tweet me to let me know of noteworthy segments and columns.




With the Leafs and Raps in full off-season mode, local hearts and hopes currently belong to the Jays. The season is going more or less according to rational-minded expectations, with the team in 1st place in runs scored, and among the league worst in starting pitching. While this was predictable to the impartial observer, this result is contrary to the desires and wishes of many in the media who were betting  that the youngsters on the pitching staff would thrive and that the veterans would fend off father time. Here’s John Lott with his always sober analysis.


It’s obviously still quite early and the starting pitching can’t get much worse, but there’s a good chance what you are seeing now in terms of wins and losses is more or less what you will see the rest of the way. Pitching will likely improve but hitting will likely regress. Even if the young pitching comes around, it is unlikely any of them will still have innings left in their arms should this team be in contention. The conclusion is hardly a surprising one: there’s just not enough established major league talent on this roster, or enough depth in AAA.


One of the most interesting story lines this year is injuries. If you’ll recall there was an incident last year surrounding Adam Lind’s foot and the team’s purported mishandling of it. This year the emerging story line appears to be the team allowing players to play through injuries instead of going on the DL (but eventually ending up there anyway). I can’t recall a time in the last 20 years where team decisions surrounding injuries were such a prominent story line.


One notable chapter in this saga came when TSN 1050’s Scott MacArthur reported that the struggling Mark Buehrle was headed to the DL. The latter publicly blasted that report after delivering a strong start. Here’s the Globe’s Robert MacLeod with the money quotes. MacArthur appeared on TSN Drive (May 7, Hour 1) to defend himself. It’s a great listen. He lays out the reporting, the difficulty of being singled out in a scrum by Buehrle, how he approached the player, and how they eventually resolved the issue. This stands in stark contrast with the incidents we saw this year involving the Leafs and various media members. Very professional conduct all around.


Still with the Jays, I have no idea what is going on with their radio broadcasts. The problems with their TV tandem have been well discussed by others, but I have avoided this by watching the away broadcasts for the most part. I am fond of Jerry so I still listen to the FAN’s radio calls. Last week I tuned in to the MLB At Bat app to hear Wilner and Duane Ward fumbling about. I’m not sure why the FAN sends Siddall to TV or why Jerry needs time off during the game. Thankfully this is a “home games only” problem since Rogers doesn’t send Wilner on the road (unlike TSN1050 with Scott MacArthur). But for some reason during yesterday’s game Joe Siddall was flying for solo for an inning or two. If Jerry is getting too old to call a whole game then maybe it’s time to come up with a better plan than letting Joe try to be Vin Scully.


I have advocated for a while now that they should consider blowing the whole radio side up and starting fresh. I pine for the days of Alan Ashby. I wonder how much money it would take to get him back.


Over to you Jays fans: 1) should management be blamed for the team’s injury woes? 2) are there any redeeming aspects to the Jays TV and radio broadcasts? I think Barry Davis does a good job — better than Sam Cosentino did in the same role — but that’s a pretty minor aspect of the production.


Poisoning the Well


As TSM and TorontoMike outlined in their posts last week, there were several flaws in Dave Shoalts’ story on Dean Blundell’s second month’s ratings. According to Shoalts, Dean turned things around in April from a moribund start in March. Shoalts goes further and posits that, in fact, Blundell is now succeeding where the previous morning show was failing.


Rogers never fully explained the reasons for the switch to Blundell, but the ratings now tell the story. A broadcast-industry source provided radio ratings from Numeris that showed Brady and Walker’s decline started in April, 2014, and they were never able to arrest the slide.”


This analysis is at odds with the previously trumpeted headline that Brady & Walker had put up the station’s best ever numbers for the morning slot. As TSM and TorontoMike point out, the story you tell depends which numbers you look at. I won’t bother going into the details since others have written all there is to say about that, but I want to note that there are now two truths out there from which you can choose.


  • Theory A) = Don Kollins blew up a successful morning show to chase an even bigger number
  • Theory B) = Don Kollins blew up the morning show due to sagging ratings


Which one is true? Well, as TSM lays it all out, the ratings in the key sports radio demo (Males 25-54) don’t seem to have been a problem, so theory A seems most plausible. I am open to the idea that the FAN has some really detailed numbers they are not sharing that showed an impending collapse of B&W’s number, but Shoalts didn’t report any such thing. So, assuming the M25-54 ratings were still strong, why did Shoalts omit this fact from his article? Again here we have two theories.


  • Theory 1) = Shoalts doesn’t understand ratings and someone at Rogers fed him highly gerrymandered data hoping he’d take the bait, and he did
  • Theory 2) = Shoalts owed someone a favour, or has some other reason for writing something pro-Rogers, and intentionally fudged the numbers


I don’t believe for a second that Shoalts doesn’t understand how ratings work and which demos are key. He’s a veteran journalist and even lowly bloggers know that women don’t matter when it comes to sports radio ratings. (I’ve written about that very issue in the past). But I’m also puzzled as to why he would intentionally write something that is clearly omitting key information. I don’t know what he’s up to but I’m on the edge of my seat to find out what he writes next. Shoalts is the Littlefinger Baelish of Toronto sports media.


One question I have about this fiasco is how this flawed piece got past his editor. It took no time for people to break down why the article isn’t accurate. I have no idea how much oversight someone of Shoalts’ stature requires, but this doesn’t look good on Globe Sports.


The always irreverent Shoalts had this to say.



Another question I have is why someone at Rogers would give Shoalts slanted numbers given that this would come across as slamming the old morning show to make the new one look better. Presumably Brady & Walker know full well that they are being sacrificed by someone at their own station. This can’t be good for morale.


We are two months in to Blundell’s tenure at the FAN. Have any of you warmed to the show? How different are the two morning shows? Whatever the ratings say, neither one is a critical success, and it will be interesting to see what changes are in the offing.




Three thoughts on FHRITP. I have many more but this story has run its course and has very little to do with sports media.


First, if this incident is your first exposure to this phrase I can understand why you are shocked and outraged. What an offensive thing to say to a stranger! But please understand that you are behind the times, and your outrage is partly constituted by your lack of cultural contemporaneity. Jameis Winston stood up in front of hundred of people and shouted the same phrase to cheers. The media mostly shrugged it off as an immature kid enjoying the references of his generation. My point is: the phrase is not new, and it loses its edge when you’ve heard it dozens of times. This doesn’t change whether it is offensive or sexist. It just means that it’s not as shocking to everyone as it is to you. See also, “Jane, you ignorant slut” for a more dated example of the same phenomenon.


Second, good on Shauna Hunt for confronting those who were bothering her. She had many options: she could have walked away, she could have ran after them, she could have thrown a fit, she could have ignored them … none of these would have highlighted the absurd levels of obnoxiousness that exists among a certain male demographic. If you have one of these guys in your life then you know how they make every social situation worse. If you saw any of yourself in these grinning goofs, it’s time to make changes.


Finally, can we please use this incident as an opportunity to rethink what we want out of news broadcasts. I am not going to make friends with this take but here goes anyway: the kind of reporting that led to FHRITP would not be missed if it disappeared entirely. Man on the street interviews are perhaps the least informative type of reporting. It takes no real talent to hold a microphone in front of drunk fans at sporting events, and the type of response you get is beyond useless. I really don’t care to hear people scream “WOOOO TFC” or some version of that. I have no idea why news programs think we want this. It’s demeaning to the people holding the microphone. Give them more meaningful assignments.


Quick Hits


The Star’s Bruce Arthur has a good piece on Leiweke and BMO. The renovations are perhaps the only source of good news left for Leiweke’s last few weeks as MLSE boss, and even this is partly tainted by the whole Argos situation. Rightly or wrongly, Leiweke will go down as one of the biggest failures (relative to the talk he talked) in Toronto sports management history.


MLB needs to pay more attention to the ransom system by which many Latin players make their way into the league. Here’s a good story on ex-Jay Yunel Escobar and his path the big leagues.


Shoalts had another story recently, this one regarding Don Cherry’s role at Rogers-run HNIC. The article is pitched as a good news piece, after the much publicized diminution of Cherry’s role. Here’s a quote from the 82 year old: “Nobody bothers me. I have my own set I go to from another entrance, I never see [the other broadcasters]. I do the show and everything’s been good.” That doesn’t sound all that positive. Shoalts continues: “Cherry says he never runs into Hockey Night host George Stroumboulopoulos or on-air panelists Nick Kypreos, Elliotte Friedman and Kelly Hrudey, let alone the bosses.” I don’t know about you, but none of that sounds very harmonious. It seems odd to include these quotes unless you’re not-so-subtly trying to draw attention to a rift.


There’s a saying at ESPN that no one is bigger than the brand. That seems to be confirmed by ESPN’s decision to part ways with Bill Simmons. Awful Announcing has some theories about the story behind the story. I don’t think we have a Canadian equivalent to Bill Simmons, so it’s hard to really understand the meaning of this high profile divorce. Can anyone think of a comparison?


If you want some chuckles have a glance at Rick Westhead’s twitter feed in response to his reporting on the Coyotes and a potential snag in their arena financing arrangement with Glendale. Somehow I don’t think Rick cares where the team ends up. But I admire the passion that Coyotes fans are showing for their team. It can’t be fun. Westhead also has a story on Bettman being forced to testify in the ongoing concussion lawsuit, and another on Steve Montador’s family suing the NHL. Troubled waters ahead for GB.


Lastly, VICE has a shocking profile on the Isareli team whose supporters refer to it as the most racist team in the land. As I discussed with Gareth Wheeler of TSN1050, the passive acceptance of virulent racism in soccer is incomprehensible to me. If MLS ever makes it big in North America then you can bet this is an issue that will need to be dealt with over here.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Do you ever want to be part of the conversation but have nothing funny, insightful, or intelligent to say? Most people would accept defeat and move on, but check out how the pros handle it:



  • Shout out to the technical people on TSN Drive. Not a place I was expecting to hear Heartless Bastards as bumper music.


  • A while back I complained that Brady&Walker were too reliant on Sportsnet personalities as guests. Things have really improved lately and it is making the show way better. They even poached Deitsch this week. Yet, at the same time, they somehow have decided to make Wilner’s perpetually awful show a part of their show.


  • If you are very upset about Tom Brady’s deflated balls let me ask you this: suppose it turned out that the NHL had a rule about how sharp your skates can be, and Crosby had been violating this rule for years. What would you think the appropriate punishment should be for this form of cheating? I have yet to hear any plausible explanation for why people believe the Patriots gained an advantage in all of this. Does anyone even know where the PSI rule came from or how the legal range was initially determined?


  • Dean Blundell is reporting that Babcock has signed with the Leafs.


  • Best wishes to Stephen Brunt as he departs PTS. (edit: PTS staff have informed me that this coming week is in fact Brunt’s last week) We all eagerly await your return, whenever and wherever that might be.




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. rob j says:

    Of the broadcasters for the pro sports teams in Tor, are any of them even above average compared to those for other teams? Being able to easily access the feeds from other TV-radio stations, its stunning how weak the local group is (e.g. Bowen, Ralph, Wilner, Rautins, E Smith, Jones, Buck, Tabler..)so mediocore

  2. Chris says:

    Great get by TSN’s Darren Dreger to interview both Ken Holland and Mike Babcock in Europe. Even funnier was when the video was Tweeted out by Dreger, Sportsnet quickly sent out a news alert and Tweeted that they had ‘learned’ that Babcock had resigned in Detroit. Clearly trying to upstage the TSN exclusive with no actual truth behind it. I guess they assumed that Babcock was re-upping in Detroit because he and Holland were together in Dreger’s interview. They then had to retract the alert, saying it was a draft sent out by mistake. What a load of crap that excuse was.

  3. alex says:

    Its been my experience most mlb team rotate,not just those elder statesmen. The giants arguably have the best broadcast team (kuiper krukow miller fleming) and they go from radio to tv and vice versa.

  4. Curt says:

    Brunt’s leaving PTS? Is there any more information on that? For me, that’s the nail in the coffin. Even though I didn’t always agree with Brunt (particularly with his constant Jays cheerleading) he was usually very good and challenged Bob – something no one else really does. I only ever tuned in when he was co-hosting. So, for me, this is goodbye to PTS.

  5. Sam says:

    I see Cherry as his own entity almost separate from the rest of Hnic. Makes no difference to me that he has no interaction with the others.

  6. Curt, Brunt is not gone forever, he takes a long hiatus this time of year, spending most of the time in Newfoundland. He will be back on PTS in the Fall.

  7. Baz says:

    With the re-opening of the Coyotes wound, I hope this means Mike Sunnucks will effectively be Bob McCown’s de facto co-host again!

  8. Curt says:

    If it’s only Brunt’s annual Newfie hiatus, then no biggie. The way Mike described it made it sound more permanent though.

  9. IP3LEE says:

    Congratulations on being right about the Jays. Like everyone else in the Toronto, you seem to take a lot of pleasure when Toronto teams fail.

    FYI, Scully still calls the entire game. He doesn’t take breaks, unlikely creepy Howarth.

  10. Alex says:

    I thought Brunt usually stayed around until end of Stanley Cup.

    Bring back Shannon. Anything but Reid.

  11. Hugh says:

    Deflategate : The entire point of this is that rules were broken. It doesn’t matter if the results weren’t affected, it doesn’t matter that some idiots think the NFL gets blame for lack of security (McCown goes absolutely bananas on this EVERY time it comes up and his comparisons to spitballers is LAUGHABLE).

    It doesn’t matter how this compares to the Ray Rice fiasco. Just because the NFL screwed that up, Brady and the Patriots get to skate on by ? And as a quick aside, why does the NFLPA get to skate on by when they are challenging and winning even the smallest suspensions for these noted bad guys like Rice and Peterson, etc. ?

    What matters is that Brady lied. And he threw roadblocks at the investigation. If he tells the truth he gets one game max and it’s over. He and the Patriots think they are above everyone else and have thought so for fifteen years. Most if not all of the other teams are CHEERING for this suspension. This suspension was a reality check to them. This suspension was telling them to STOP CHEATING NOW.

  12. Hugh says:

    A few days ago I finally sat down and listened to the TSN Naylor show. I have listened to him previously in bits and pieces but this was the first time I listened for an hour. And were my eyes opened. I know the problem with this radio show. The problem is DAVE NAYLOR.

    Naylor CONSTANTLY interrupts his guests. He asks them a question, guesses what they are gonna say after a few words, and interrupts them almost immediately to argue about what he thinks they are gonna say. The other day with Steve Simmons, they were talking hockey and Leafs and Coaches and GMs. I swear, he interrupted Simmons so many times in about five minutes that I thought Simmons was gonna punch his lights out. Simmons finally had to say “CAN YOU LET ME FINISH A THOUGHT PLEASE !!”.

  13. Hugh says:

    Ken Reid : The problem with Ken Reid is that he tries too hard. WAY too hard. When he first joined his new BFF McCown, he should have eased his way into the conversations and refrained from his ‘funny’ comments that more often than not are greeted with dead air.

    A few weeks ago, Reid got into it with Blair about the Blue Jays and kept arguing that they should be playing more small ball like bunting runners over, etc. It spilled over into twitter when Blair openly mocked Reid after a Jay hit a three run homer.

    Cox was on PTS as a phone in guest and he and Reid got into it about the Leafs. Reid made a stupid comment about the Leafs being almost like an expansion team. Cox properly shot that thought to pieces on air and Reid got whiny and pouty, saying ” I said ALMOST like an expansion team !!”. More dead air, then McCown had to try to smooth things over and move to another topic.

    Blair cannot stand Reid. Cox cannot stand Reid. I doubt Brunt wants anything to do with Reid. I doubt Friedman wants anything to do with Reid. Can anyone explain why McCown is so fond of Reid that he keeps giving him air time ??

  14. Alex says:

    Blair and Barker argue about small ball vs long ball almost every day on the baseball show. Very tiring.

  15. Drumanchor says:


    Some insightful comments but I would argue that McCown is not necessarily that fond of Reid. My guess is that this is an executive order from high above. Rogers is, seemingly, obsessed with cross promotion and some VP insists that having Reid on PTS is a good vehicle for that and it perhaps it also might attract younger listeners.

  16. Sam in Scarb says:

    @ MIB…Sat down to read your piece..had to stop twice once for lunch and once to cut the front grass…MORE is not always better!!

    Good stuff (I think)

  17. GreyCountyMike says:

    As long as FAN 590 talking heads continue to refer to “Gibby” and “Alex”, it’s almost impossible to take any of the Jays’ talk on that station seriously. The spinning just never stops, even in the face of diminishing returns.

  18. Darrell says:

    In all pro sports, each and every fan base has pros and cons about their team that they follow and love. There are some good and some bad. The FAN 590 talking heads (as GreyCountyMike says above) are absolutely nauseating as there are “no wrongs” on this team. The team has not made the playoffs in 22 years and has the current longest time of NOT making the playoffs. The way the morons at the FAN talk, you would think the team has won each and every year. I am not saying fans should find negatives all the time about the team but should feel free to vent about their favorite team without constant ridicule and argument from the clear homer who hosts Jays Talk.

  19. Curt says:

    Well, last week I finally broke down and subscribed to I wish I had done it years ago. If you’re like me and simply cannot stomach Buck and Pat and the rest of the homer brigade at Sportsnet, then this is the way to go. Plus, as my disenchantment of the Blue Jays deepens, I can follow any of my other teams (Dodgers, Cubs) whenever I want. When you hear other broadcasts (most of them anyway), it really puts it into perspective how truly awful the Sportsnet crew are.

  20. PBI says:


    Well said.

    I wish the people who cover the Jays would empathize more with what the fanbase is going through instead of trying to belittle them or mock them. But, with segments like the one someone brought up about the calls Wilner gets, it seems like the implication is that the fanbase is irrational in a vacuum without rarely touching on why they are that way, ie dealing with the longest current playoff drought in North American sports without any hope of getting out of it.

    I see that same type of thinking being applied to Maple Leaf fans and Raptors fans at times as well, a lot of blaming the fanbases in this city for the lack of success of the local teams. They can’t blame anyone of consequence because all the media conglomerates are in bed with the ownership groups or ARE the ownership groups.

  21. I tired of the homerism to the point where I simply stopped listening to all Toronto sports radio/TV, it’s unbearable….and unnecessary too, there are 100+ sports podcasts to fill in the time between 680 and 1010 traffic hits, even CBC and 96.3 if you want FM instead.

    Mike and Mike, Jason Smith, Jay Mohr, PTI, and Tony Kornheiser are great time wasters, and you won’t hear any Rogers/MLSE homerism. True, they’re not in real time, but they actually know there are 30 baseball teams, not 1.

    Kornheiser had an interesting insight last week about MLB wildcard teams, he said “stop counting victories, count losses, your team can’t lose more than 72 to have a shot, thats 36 at the All Star break”. I know its the same thing, I just found it interesting…

    FHRITP… as my HR director buddy told me the day after, they really didn’t fire him for being a sexist asshole in public, they fired him because his public behavior put his publicly funded employer into an impossible position. This never was a freedom of speech issue or freedom of expression, its about his colossally bad judgment in public.

    With his name and face out there, Hydro HR could expect a never-ending line into the HR offices from every woman who would have to work with him or for him or interact with him, demanding different work assignments and duties, and no one is worth that hassle, union member or not…

  22. RS says:
      I’ve been through this!
  23. yaz says:

    I enjoy Al Strachan sustained Twitter attacks on the snobbish Bruce Arthur, never gets old and Arthur deserves it and doesn’t get enough of it.

  24. The Londoner says:

    Mike Wilner is losing it. If Gibbons named Donaldson has his new closer, Wilner would defend the move. Do not think I am kidding. On twitter and on the radio, he seems more militant than ever, in the face of another disappointing Jays season.

  25. Darrell says:

    @ PBI – that’s exactly my point. Whether you are a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Miami Marlins or the Cleveland Cavaliers – a fan can and should find some good and perhaps some wrong. No idiot fan unless you are Ken Harrelson of the White Sox broadcast team or Wilner, sees all positives and no negatives with the team.

    Idiot Wilner will now defend Anthopoulos’s move of DFA Francis and how Todd Redmond is having a fantastic year down in AAA. It is sickening and Torontonians deserve so much better from Rogers, Sportsnet and even the FAN 590 constant kissing up to a team that has not won a thing in 22 years.

  26. Mike S says:

    I agree that it was nice to hear Deitsch recently on Brady & Walker talking about the Bill Simmons departure from ESPN……….but there is no evidence that there will be fewer Sportsnet/Rogers personalities as guests on that show……… are some of the guests they had this week:

    Jeff Marek
    Garry Galley
    Gregg Zaun
    Doug MacLean
    Eliotte Friedman
    Mike Wilner
    Kelly Hrudey
    Joe Siddall
    Dave Randorf
    Damien Cox
    Nick Kypreos

  27. Jake says:

    Hugh nails it … Naylor has a bad case of interruptitis. Terrible quality in a host. At least the co-hosts rotate. A bad host is there every minute of every show. Fix this Naylor.

  28. Jake says:

    Great analysis by those above on what’s wrong with Wilner, Walker and their ilk. Many in the Rogers Jays media spend too much of their time telling everyone how dumb the fans are for being upset at all the losing. How about engaging the rest of the fanbase instead?? Jaystalk has been a shitshow for all of Wilner’s time as host. What does that tell you about the host? Bring back Scott Ferguson 🙂

  29. HRM says:

    I would like to second and favorite Yaz’s comment regarding Strachan.

  30. Steve says:

    An analysis of the significant flaws in the Sharp Football Analysis fumble study:

  31. Steve Jones says:

    For no apparent reason I flipped on the Fan yesterday afternoon and Jays Talk was on. I was appalled. I listened to 6-8 calls. It became apparent rather quickly that all callers to the show are complete morons who haven’t a clue about baseball. Or maybe it was just that Wilner treats every caller with complete contempt if they have an issue with team or player performance. Never heard a call in host so combative and down right rude. He’s a good fit for the Sportsnet team which is largely staffed by homers and sycophants.

  32. Jamally says:

    There WAS a small window of opportunity for the fans of Toronto to support the Jays like they did in the glory days – and the Jays blew it. And it’s all fine and dandy for Stephen Brunt to wax poetic about his beloved baseball, but the reality is that the Jays have NOT capitalized on the fans interest…and that’s about to decline quickly as the Jays are rapidly approaching irrelevance again.

    I don’t care but natural grass will not bring fans to the dome when the team is bad….I expect 12-15,000 crowds in the rebuilding years…which is sooner than later.

  33. Sam in Scarb says:

    @ Jamally Very well said and I suspect many are in agreement with you.
    If only the cheer-leading squad at rogers would catch on.I guess the
    drastic reduction in Flex-Pac sales for 2015 was not enough to get their
    It did get Beeston’s attention,he is taking the long winding path at the end
    of this season.
    Also,remember kids if rogers weren’t so inept at finding a replacement for
    him he would have been on a dock in Muskoka right now and not even listening
    to Jerry

  34. Jacob says:

    I have a theory about Jaystalk. I feel like only really dumb Jays fans call into the show because smart baseball people don’t want to deal with Wilner’s homer mentality. This is of course a viscous cycle because Wilner can then rip those Jays fans paper thin arguments, maintaining his homer status and scaring off baseball savvy callers.

  35. Sam says:

    404 on Monday and CBS sports not PTS is on internet feed, wonder why it’s not PTS. PTS doesn’t start til jays game is over?

  36. Not that Chris says:

    Odd. They must have screwed up. @BackstagePTS was tweeting about taking calls just before the show started.

  37. d says:

    Wilner is not stupid. Is it possible he is mostly positive about the Jays because it drives people crazy, causing them to call in? That’s his job as a host of a call in show. The fan even runs ads to call into yell at Wilner.

    Many hosts in talk radio do this across Canada and the US. If Wilner agreed with every drunk caller that thinks Ryan Goins is a better player than Jose Reyes or that John McDonald should be a starter or that Lyle Overbay grounds into a double play every game, the show would get pretty boring.

    If u hate Wilner and hate ownership and hate “Gibby” and hate the talking heads that call him Gibby and hate the cost of beer at the game and hate the way the team is covered and hate the GM and hate the stadium then maybe it’s time to cheer for another team, change the dial, or at the very least just try to lighten up.

  38. Neil says:

    Bob Mcowan is a real idiot. Ken Reid the person that everyone on the site just crucifies, took Bob to task as Bob suggested that the fanbase or a potential revolt by the Jays fans doesn’t matter. “Who Cares” were his exact words, Ken then responded by suggesting that Bob’s “Who Cares” is not shared by the owners of the ball club. Bob’s comeback(in a condesending tone) If those in charge care about fan numbers they should fire Beeston
    Doug Smith had to remind Bob that fans convert to money that convert to player aquisition, Ken then gave Doug look of ” Pretty Much” and shame on Bob saying something so idiotic. Did Bob not host a show called the business of sports. I really hope Bob’s PTS clock is ticking. He’s really annoying. His rants alot of the times are baseless.

  39. Curt says:

    Bob is Abe Simpson.

  40. Bobby G says:

    Thumbs up to Yaz for his Al Strachan comment. Arthur deserves all of it. Greatly overrated.

  41. Matty Zero says:

    Nice to see Dirk Hayhurst taking potshots at Rogers, now that he can. At least now he can stop worrying about the amount of product/sludge in Clay Buchholz’ hair.

    One thing that is never brought up by Gibbons defenders, is his pitch-calling. Don’t all the managers call 90% of the pitches nowadays from the dugout?

    Either way, they should have hired Francona instead. Both were available, one cost money. That is the Jays problem, and we all know it. Capping contract length, not signing a real pitcher or 3 in the offseason..this is why they are here.

    Not saying they had to sign Lester or Scherzer (yeah right) but even if they tried to get Shields, Volquez or God forbid AJ Burnett would have gone a long way. Doing nothing was a complete joke.

  42. mike (in boston) says:

    I have been told that Brunt’s last week on PTS is next week. Fixed above. Sorry for the bad intel.

    On the Jays: there have been very obvious flaws each of the last 3 seasons. In each of these seasons we were told the money was there if AA needed it. In none of those seasons were the major needs fully addressed. Is strains credulity to think that AA’s plan A was to go into the 2015 season with this starting rotation and this bullpen, given the availability of proven major league talent in trades and free agency.

    The more plausible interpretation is that once again his budget was cut off when the roster was not yet completed. Enter Plan B: gamble that unproven high upside guys can be above average major league pitchers as rookies thanks to Russell Martin’s magic glove. It’s not working out so far, and rather than getting money to acquire proven major league talent, AA is yet again dumpster diving trying to catch lightning in a bottle. The number of scrubs who have pitched for this team in 2015 is ridiculous.

  43. Matty Zero says:

    @Mike Agree 100%. I mean, look at what the Tigers paid for 1 and a half years of Price. The Jays should have been able to match that, and if they are not trying to get Hamels, or are being hamstrung, then maybe they should all be fired, and start the rebuild now. It would be a total waste, because with this offense, even 2 just above replacement-level pitchers would help turn it around.

  44. d says:

    I hate to say it but the Jays are rebuilding right now. They changed part of their core and gave several jobs to players with little to no mlb experience.

    Would anyone give up stroman, Norris and pompey or osuna and sanchez and lawrie or sanchez and Norris for a year and a half of price? Money aside it’s not a good deal for a team that was barely above 500 last year. You can sign price or a hand full of other starters in the off season AND keep your young controllable players.

  45. Antonio says:

    I really don’t know why some people believe the Brady/Patriots punishment is unwarranted. Did these same people believe what Lance Armstrong did was OK? In both cases, the guilty party cheated to gain an advantage with the help of underlings(even if it was slight) and both lied repeatedly to the media, the authorities and the public.

    Brady and the Pats should be lucky they only received 4 games, a million $ fine and draft picks. It should have been much worse.

  46. yaz says:

    Brady didn’t do steroids to deflate the balls. If after winning the Stanley Cup the opposing team discovered Crosby scored the winning goal with an illegal curve would we he be persecuted or did the refs miss a penalty? Every quarterback adjusts the footballs to their liking and have forever. Let’s move on.

  47. Curt says:

    Had Brady said in February, “Yes I deflated the balls a bit – like others have done before. I didn’t realize it was a big deal and I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” In that case, he gets a fine and everybody moves on. Instead, he flat out lied about knowing anything and refused to fully cooperate with the investigation (not handing over his phone). He practically challenged the NFL to go after him, and they did. I’m no Goodell fan believe me, but they got it right this time.

    As a side, funny how all those Patriots fumbles went away…

  48. Neil says:


    I don’t think Dickey,Burhle,Reyes and Bautista are indicative of a rebuilding team. These guys combine are like 1000 years old. Remember
    This is the last of a three year window with lots of money on the books, this is clearly a go for it year, that is quickly evaporating, Oh but wait the super rookies (that only people in Toronto talk about) will get us over the top, Oh ya But first three of the super rookies have to work there way back to the majors first.

  49. d says:

    Yes, the super rookies that are all under the age of 23. Buerle and his 20 million won’t be here next year, and neither will dickey. I’ve said it before Neil, wait til the off season. Lots of free agents, lots of money coming off the books. Add to what u have instead of trading the future for this season. Hoffman, osuna, pompey and Norris are all mentioned as prospects south of the border.

    How many rookies made the opening day roster? They have not traded any vets for young talent because they already have young talent to pair with their vets. Perhaps that’s not what you consider rebuilding, but that’s pretty much what it is.

  50. Antonio says:

    Obviously Brady felt it would give his team an advantage – he was constantly on his servants (the equipment mgrs.) to deflate the balls. The many texts suggest it was an ongoing thing. He’s guilty and should face the consequences.

    As for you why he lied just prior to the Super Bowl – he probably thought he would be suspended from playing in it. He was fully aware what he was doing was illegal. The rule allows some lee way to decrease the footballs but he clearly went below the allowed limit.

    So yeah, lets move on and make him serve his suspension.

  51. Jim says:

    New to the site and enjoying it.
    To be clear, the only reason I know of, and listen to, Dave Naylor is Ken Reid. He is pathetic. As someone who has listened to McCowan from the outset (and survived)I have been spoiled by Elliott and Brunt and Blair and many others. But now there is Reid. He squeeks and I leave. I check every day and it is remarkable to me that they let him back. So no more PTS when he is on.
    As for Wilner, as has been noted above – he “treats every caller with complete contempt if they have an issue with team or player performance.”
    So when I hear Wilner or Reid I am out of there! Thanks for listening.

  52. rob j says:

    The Jays have outstanding young players and prospects; too bad they’re in Miami, New York, and Oakland

  53. allie-cat says:

    Does anybody actually enjoy Bruce Arthur’s twitter act? Whole lotta lame pop culture references and some pretty weak sports takes. He’s basically Sid Sexeiro.

  54. Antonio says:

    Agree. What’s makes it really annoying is his moral high-horse statements. Just stick to sports, Arthur and leave politics out of it.

  55. Bora says:

    I find it interesting the only time this guy mentions soccer is in a negative situation (violence, racism etc.)
    For Pete’s sake can people learn how to spell Bob’s last name, it’s McCown.

  56. rob j says:

    @Bora You must be a relatively new listener to PTS. Bob’s been up front about his hatred for soccer for decades…you’ll be more satisfied when Blair guest hosts. He’s nuts about soccer

  57. (Another) Andrew says:

    Even though McCown expected low ratings for the afternoon playoff games he dismissed out of hand Ken Reid’s correct prediction as way too low. This was probably because he thought no one was watching the World Championships on a non-Rogers channel. I mean who could imagine a loaded Team Canada captained by Sidney Crosby against a Russian team featuring Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, and Malkin in a gold medal match would be of more interest to Canadians than watching two American franchises, especially when one that had FOB Bruce Boudreau behind the bench? Nah, that couldn’t have been it. Must’ve been the weather and the Blue Jays game on Rogers that suppressed the viewership so much.

  58. Bobby G says:

    Please make Paul Romanuk stop.

  59. Matty Zero says:

    Romanuk should be calling games in Geneva and Prague. He has a voice for early December mornings.

  60. Kamlesh says:

    Does the tax dodging Eugene Melnyk still live in the Barbados? Why doesn’t he use the hospitals there?

  61. Sperk says:

    What’s the over/under on how many times it’s said on the afternoon shows today that babcock coming to the Leafs was about “accepting a challenge”, “grew up a leafs fan” and “loves shannahan”…of course we all know this is hogwash as the media will want to keep their access lest not offend MLSE. We all know Babcock is here because MLSE paid him the most

  62. Sperk says:

    BTW I am not saying going to the place that pays you the most is bad and not motivation enough but I predict you could get diabetes listening to the radio shows waxing on about wanting to build something etc. and ignoring the real reason he’s here

  63. Antonio says:

    I wonder if this means he has to live in Toronto. After all Shanny doesn’t.

  64. Curt says:

    Argos trumped again.

  65. Sperk says:

    I guess it will be easy to tell the hierarchy of the MLSE media relations team today! The “A” team is on he Babcock story and the “B” team is covering the whatever Raptors and TFC daily news there is…whoever’s left you get the Argos’ story

  66. Sperk says:

    Shannon had Babcock going to the Sabres as 50/50 yesterday and the Sun had him going to the Leafs at less than 5% this morning.

    and I guess Blundell was right

  67. Don River says:

    The Leafs are ALWAYS covered by the “A” team, which means that every other franchise effectively gets the “B” team, like it or not.

    Regarding Deflate-Gate, McCown was right about one thing: the NFL was just asking for this when they stupidly went to the current system. I have little doubt that some if not most other NFL teams have manipulated footballs. The Pats had the misfortune of getting caught, being seen by many as arrogant and above the law, and living in a world where Roger Goodell was seen as a weak leader.

  68. mike (in boston) says:

    Today has been a spectacular day on Twitter with all the main players contributing strong efforts. The cherry on top was Blundell (why did you block me Dean?? We had such good times!) saying that Bruce Arthur makes a living trying to perform auto-fellatio.

  69. FMW says:

    The Blue Jay talk you guys were talking was really interesting. I find Jays talk to be a disgrace to an already poor team reputation. Wilner seems more suited to host a late night call in show (make outlandish claims/get crazy callers) than actually be part of a legitimate MLB quality broadcast. It sounds so bush league. Some might say “He has to deal with dumb callers” but I’m a true believer that the quality of caller reflects the quality of host. Sure a troll might sneak in, but the hosts personality and ability absolutely reflects the standard of listener and caller who calls in. Before Wilner complains about the callers, who should look in the mirror first.

    The Jays talk pretty much consists of “Fan boys” who call up and how “Hard Wilner job is” (how pathetic is that) and agree with every pseudo-stat or every opinion that Wilner has that turns out to be wrong. Sure there also some dumb negative callers. The problem is Wilner treats legit callers who have concern of the team and treats them like crap. Then when the legit concern become reality these caller call back with a chip on their shoulder because they were told before that they “don’t know baseball, and are irrational and talked down to by Wilner and the concern turned out to be correct. He turns people off from the team.

    I also think he over-hype of players and team in general, actually hurt the team. After the first week of the season, Wilner said there is “6 potential rookie of the year candidates” on the team. That is just an absurd standard to give to those guys. When the inevitable “re-tooling” happens, the disappointment is greater because the “voice of the Jays” hyped them as ALL rookie of the year candidates. Which is unheard of. IF Wilner (and the team) were more honest with their assessment and say “Hopefully a couple will show to be full time players” there wouldn’t be that much of a shock/pressure when some of them were set down.

    Don’t get me even started with the Gibbons thing. Why are the people who keep saying “Managers don’t matter” care if Gibbons keeps his job, if it doesn’t matter, then let the people who think it does matter make the decision. Second why do the Gibbons defenders say “He can’t control how bad the pitching is this season” seem to ignore who also flopped in 2013 & was manager of a complete choke job of 2014, now 2015 is disappointing again. There is a pattern of a team under-achieving with him as manager. It’s strange that these guys (including Wilner) never give Cito credit for winning but will aways give Gibbons the benefit of the doubt for his losing

  70. Alex says:

    Biggest news story in Toronto in years and bob gets stuck with Reid as co-host. surprised they didnt parachute Brunt in for the day and bring Elliott over from the hockey offices.

  71. Alex says:

    Sportsnet sure seemed to lag behind today with the Mike Babcock signing. Dreger and Mackenzie were all over it. And Ken Reid sounded like a buffoon today on PTS even with the normally cynical Mcowan and Cox beside him. Reid kept saying the same thing over and over that this Leaf team was worse than an expansion team with no assets at all. As Bob and Damien went through the roster they noted a number of players who had an upside or some trade value. Nobody is saying the Leafs are a good team right now but to say that a JVR or Reilly or Kadri have no value made Reid sound like he was just looking for anything negative to counteract the Babcock signing. Not very good on a day when the audience was probably larger than normal

  72. Neil says:

    @FMW your bang on with everything you said, especially regarding Cito, When Cito was here Wilner assasinated him at every opportunity he could, yet praises Gibbons for the same thing he would kill Cito about.

  73. mike (in boston) says:

    Phenomenal post FMW. Agree 100%.

    Thankfully both TSN (The Blue Jays Report) and SN (At the Letters) have good baseball podcasts, but it’s not the same as having a place where intelligent and interesting people discuss the game right after it ends. TSN could claim that entire demographic with a regular post-game call-in show. Hell, 640 could as well.

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